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Obituary: Frederick J. Kirkham

July 2, 2024
Time to read:
An older man wearing a tuxedo and a bow tie
Frederick J. Kirkham

Frederick John Kirkham, 73, of Orange, beloved husband of 50 years to Maria (Cross) Kirkham, passed away peacefully at his home on January 4, 2023.  Born on March 10, 1949 in Liverpool, England, he was the son of the late John and Jessie (Hallard) Kirkham.

Fred was very special to all that knew him.  He was quiet, kind, humble and unassuming, yet he could light up a room when people saw him.

Fred grew up in Liverpool, England and always said it was ‘a great place and time to be young.’  He had a silent but special bond with his sister Kay whom he adored and admired and became even closer in the latter years of his life.

As a teenager his first job was repairing bicycles at a local bike shop to help earn enough money to fund his love of competitive cycling.  It later turned from two to four wheels and so began his love and obsession with cars.

Fred attended Liverpool Collegiate School in England and went on to practice as a Quantity Surveyor for several years.

He later decided to relocate to South Devon where he pursued a career in forestry and tree surgery.  He started his own company called Treescape Services and became the largest employer in his village for the next thirteen years, until the country fell into a recession.  At the same time his father suffered a stroke and became infirm so he decided it was a good time to return to Liverpool to help care for his elderly parents.

It was there he decided to further pursue his life long passion with cars by starting a wholesale automobile company throughout England.

After his father passed it was time for a new chapter and in 1989 he had the opportunity to work in America doing tree removal and landscape installations.  Over the years his flair for design and his vision and ability to create beautiful landscapes, be it small or large, enabled him to show his many skills.  The culmination of his working career ended in what he would consider his one true goal in life, helping both his sons, develop their careers and provide for their families.

Fred’s retirement time, though very short, consisted of spending time with his bride of 50 years, being entertained by his grandchildren and spending time with his much loved family and friends.

Son, grandson, cyclist, car enthusiast, artist, good friend, father, uncle, grandfather, and husband.  He was a wonderful man treasured by all who knew and loved him.

In addition to his loving wife Maria, Fred is survived by his sons, John (Elizabeth) Kirkham and Edward (Jacklyn) Kirkham; grandchildren, Jessie Kirkham, Frederick John Kirkham, and Tayshaun Gunn; his sister Marilyn “Kay” (Michael) Ashley of England; a sister-in-law, Christine (Richard) Russo; 12 siblings-in-law of England; and many nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

Arrangements were in the capable hands of the Cody-White Funeral Home, 107 Broad Street, Milford, CT.  A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Saint Gabriel Church (Saint Raphael Parish) 26 Broadway, Milford, CT.  Interment was private.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice.  To leave online condolences, please visit

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